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Thread: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

  1. #1
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    Post The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Hi All,

    My name is Oliver and I'm, looking forward to being an active member of the forum!!

    As I'm a bit of an oddball and love to document everything I have done/am doing, I have opted for this forum to post updates of mine and my partners latest venture...

    We are based in the Lake District in England, where property prices are pretty high and living Mortgage free @ 23 & 25 is almost impossible, unless you win the lottery of course (!) OR...... Buy a boat...

    So, with no boat building experience we have decided to buy a run down, derelict boat, with the hopes of turning it into something pretty cool. Not only is the plan to make it liveable in the next 3/6 months, it is also to have it finished before Christmas.

    I have no doubt there will be blood, sweat and tears but I look forward to you all reading the trials and tribulations of our latest venture!

    The boat is a 47ftx12ft River Cruiser, with 2 BMC 3.8L straight 4's, 2 bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen, she is currently moored in Preston (Near Manchester/Blackpool) which will be travelling by road Friday next, up to the Lake District, placed on a dry mooring and attacked from all angles.

    It has the potential to what I think be a beautiful boat. The plan is a full refurbishment, inside and out. No doubt dealing with rot and lots of other issues along the way.

    I currently have very little info on the boat, the chap who lived on it has unfortunately died, it was sold as seen and passed down to his Daughter and Sister as part of his will. I would appreciate if anyone knows any history of the boat, she is currently named 'Phoenix', however, will be named after my Grandmother as 'The Lady Ruth', or, knows anything about the boat builders that crafted this boat back in the (circa) 60's! (please see photo's below)

    I look forward to hearing from some of you soon,

    ATB,

    Oliver

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Hi, and welcome to the forum.
    So, with no boat building experience we have decided to buy a run down, derelict boat, with the hopes of turning it into something pretty cool. Not only is the plan to make it liveable in the next 3/6 months, it is also to have it finished before Christmas.
    I do love an optimist. Please tell us that you had a full structural survey before taking her on.
    As some one with no boat building experience, you must have her surveyed, so that you can be advised about what must be done and what would be nice to do.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Thanks Peerie,

    No we did not. This is a huge mistake which we realised we have made, post purchase. Due to the price of the boat and (Apparent) interest in it. We made an offer on a whim.

    Who doesn't love an optimist..! I have been down into the Bilge and there is little to no water, the Starboard side has also had an extensive amount of work done and the boat was lived on right up until his death.

    I know this is wrong, I also have no doubt I will be getting a huge amount of stick for not having it surveyed, however, we will lump it. Should there be anything unfixable, I have no doubt it will make a beautiful garden shed.

    We will get a Survey once it arrives up north, I will be sure to post the report once it is here.

    Kindest,

    Olly

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Hi, and welcome to the forum.

    I do love an optimist. Please tell us that you had a full structural survey before taking her on.
    As some one with no boat building experience, you must have her surveyed, so that you can be advised about what must be done and what would be nice to do.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Everything on a wooden boat is fixable. Given the time and dedication. A very supportive Significant Other is also vital.
    Where in the Lakes will you be located?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default

    Surveys are overrated. Just don't put it on the hard and strip the interior before you really know what you are doing. That way lies failure and an eBay ad, All the hard work is done! Followed by a substantial disposal bill.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    We are looking forward to completing it as a team - budget is tight but not OTT. Any advice on the best way to attack it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Oliver

    QUOTE=Peerie Maa;5941992]Everything on a wooden boat is fixable. Given the time and dedication. A very supportive Significant Other is also vital.
    Where in the Lakes will you be located?[/QUOTE]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Liking the positivity there!!!

    The plan is to have one done, (forgot to mention Perrier that it will be in Maryport) please feel free to pop up and see us one weekend in the near future.


    Phil, if you had purchased this project. Please enlighten me on your plan of attack??


    Thank you,

    Olly
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Surveys are overrated. Just don't put it on the hard and strip the interior before you really know what you are doing. That way lies failure and an eBay ad, All the hard work is done! Followed by a substantial disposal bill.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    I hope the powers that be are more accommodating of liveaboards than they are in these parts.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Good evening John, I hope all is well??

    As im obviously new to this world, I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that.

    Please do enlighten me,

    ATB,

    Olly


    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I hope the powers that be are more accommodating of liveaboards than they are in these parts.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    You should definitely get a survey or at least some advice before starting anything. Try to track down a surveyor who knows classical timber construction and wooden boats. Or if you can't find a suitable surveyor, try to find a boatbuilder who specializes in restoring older timber vessels and pay them to look at the boat and recommend what needs doing, and what would be nice to do but can wait. Don't limit yourself necessarily to people in your area – if you can find the right person it will be the best money you spend on the boat.

    Try the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association.

    Someone like Jamie Clay also comes to mind, but I don't know if he will do advisory work like this (www.jamieclayboatbuilding.co.uk) but you could talk with him and see if he has any suggestions.

    Cheers -- George
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    A C Grayling

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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Hi George,

    A great response, thank you so much for your Advice. Once the boat has arrived I will be sure to contact someone as per your recommendation.

    I have no doubt that the experience people have will be so valuable to our success.

    Thank you so much,

    Olly


    Quote Originally Posted by debenriver View Post
    You should definitely get a survey or at least some advice before starting anything. Try to track down a surveyor who knows classical timber construction and wooden boats. Or if you can't find a suitable surveyor, try to find a boatbuilder who specializes in restoring older timber vessels and pay them to look at the boat and recommend what needs doing, and what would be nice to do but can wait. Don't limit yourself necessarily to people in your area – if you can find the right person it will be the best money you spend on the boat.

    Try the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association.

    Someone like Jamie Clay also comes to mind, but I don't know if he will do advisory work like this (www.jamieclayboatbuilding.co.uk) but you could talk with him and see if he has any suggestions.

    Cheers -- George

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    I have had a gander at people local to me to start with - I have also emailed Jamie.

    Does anyone have any experience with https://www.boatwork.co.uk/ or happen to know of anyone affiliated with the business?

    Kindest,

    Oliver

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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Quote Originally Posted by OliverAndShona View Post
    Good evening John, I hope all is well??

    As im obviously new to this world, I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that.

    Please do enlighten me,

    ATB,

    Olly
    Olly, what John means is you may find that various shore-based authorities, from marina management on up to local government, do not always look fondly on liveaboards. And even more so if your boat is not kept Bristol-fashion, at least at present. You will also find that doing work on your boat while it's in the water may prove challenging given various environmental regulations. But do not be dissuaded by these things. People do manage to live aboard and work on their boats all the same. Best of luck with The Lady Ruth!

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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Hi cstevens!

    I see - thank you for clearing that point up for me...

    I could be totally wrong here and, I have no doubt I am wrong...!

    However - I have been in contact with the marina on numerous occasions. So far they seem very friendly and helpful, I have explained the situation and my plan for the boat and they didn’t seem to say anything negative.

    Lets hope it remains that way!

    Thank you for your kind words,

    Olly


    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Olly, what John means is you may find that various shore-based authorities, from marina management on up to local government, do not always look fondly on liveaboards. And even more so if your boat is not kept Bristol-fashion, at least at present. You will also find that doing work on your boat while it's in the water may prove challenging given various environmental regulations. But do not be dissuaded by these things. People do manage to live aboard and work on their boats all the same. Best of luck with The Lady Ruth!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Welcome to the forum, and all the best for your project!
    If you cant make it accurate, make it adjustable.

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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiletto View Post
    Welcome to the forum, and all the best for your project!
    Thank you Stiletto!!! I appreciate your support.

    I am trying to upload a few more images, however, it seems to be twisting them!!!

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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!


  21. #21
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Welcome aboard! Good luck and keep us posted.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Thank you John!

    I will be sure to post regular updates. No doubt there will be plenty of advice needed!!!!!

    Kindest,

    Olly


    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Welcome aboard! Good luck and keep us posted.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Neat boat! One thing I think you will want to do pretty quickly is to sort out your AC wiring. All of it. Shore power, lighting, etc. And seriously consider getting rid of any and all AC appliances and lighting. Boat and marina wiring are nowhere near set up for house-style appliance use and electrical fires are a huge risk for liveaboards. Seriously. People get killed. Just looking at that fluorescent light fixture in your saloon gets the hair on my neck up.

    Next, I think that wood stove is way too large for the boat. I'd be concerned about it getting enough ventilation. Personally I'd get rid of it and replace with something smaller, or possibly a diesel stove or heater, but at the very least don't fire it up unless you have a good CO2 detector installed.

    Regarding the survey... At some point you will need to get one just so you can get insurance. But if you are going to have her hauled out and will be working with a competent shipwright then I think you can put it off for now. Ask your shipwright to take a look over her and make recommendations on what she needs. That will get you started, and will also give you some sense of the scope of the work.

    In particular I would try to pull some fastenings in various places - your shipwright will know where - and have a look at the condition. Old wooden boats can keep going just fine with a surprising number of problems but if the fasteners are bad then that's something to deal with right away. If you spring a hood end or a butt block below the waterline then you and your cats will be swimming.

    Oh, and I like the name. One of my grandmothers was also named Ruth...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Jamie Clay is in Essex, so a ways away. I think David Moss is closer to the lakes, www.davidmossboatbuilders.co.uk, might try him. I don't know about either of these gentlemen's view of vessels of this type, but both are well qualified and honest.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Welcome to the Forum Oliver and Shona!

    Happy for you that the Marina didn't come up with problems, which is a great start! Being a liveboard myself with part of my deck still missing, no interior apart from my bunk and the stern still open, these pictures don't look like she's been run down and not cared for. With a lot of luck everything that needs doing is just cosmetic to make her suit your taste. But, we don't know yet, do we?

    A boat is not the same as a house and she needs to be able to float without water tickling in and destroying bit after bit after bit. You need to make sure that she is sound below the waterline and above. That all openings to the water-world like skinfittings and seacocks are not over their lifetime, the propshaft has no play in the bearing where it leaves the hull and, if you want to use her to go cruising, that all systems including the engine are in good working condition.

    If it was me I wouldn't bother at the moment about any cosmetics but find out instead about how healthy the hull is. She might be perfect and I cross all my fingers for you, but she might also be not quite perfect yet. No worries, it can all be sorted. But my priority would be to get this sorted first!

    Good luck, x my fingers for you two!
    Last edited by Dody; 07-21-2019 at 06:27 PM.
    fair winds, Dody
    "They did not know it was impossible so they did it" - Mark Twain

  26. #26
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    These guys are close as well. Have been employed on Museum artefact conservation. http://pattersonboatworks.co.uk/
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    You noted that the boat has two bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen. I state that it has none of those.
    It does, however, have two staterooms, a salon and a galley.
    Half the battle of owning a boat is getting the terminology correct!
    Hope your adventures go well!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    I noticed the bedroom etc, but would call them cabins, saloon and galley.
    The terminology doesn't even cross borders let alone to landlubbers!

    Good luck with your purchase!
    You have just entered either your wildest dreams or an eternal nightmare.
    It could switch between the two states daily.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    I am overwhelmed with all of the kind comments and advice, thank you so much everyone!

    We are incredibly excited, but, also very nervous for the outcome once it is lifted out of the water for the first time next week.

    Out of curiosity, what sort of costs do you think would be involved with a full rebuild of a hull that size? We are remaining optimistic and hoping that this is not the case, however, it would be good for us to know a possible worst case scenario.

    Thank you,

    Olly

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Slacko is correct, even in the States. Asking about a ball park price for a complete rebuild of a boat that size is just asking for trouble. Of course, she might need serious work but not the complete rebuild. Full rebuild? Hundreds of thousands likely (whatever currency).

  31. #31
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Ok Thad, thank you.

    As per the first comment on this thread, we do not have any knowledge in boat building, hence the question. There will be plenty of stupid questions asked in the near future I have no doubt.

    ATB,

    Olly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Slacko is correct, even in the States. Asking about a ball park price for a complete rebuild of a boat that size is just asking for trouble. Of course, she might need serious work but not the complete rebuild. Full rebuild? Hundreds of thousands likely (whatever currency).

  32. #32
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Welcome to the forum! You are a nut for sure! You'll fit right in.

    You'll probably want to begin putting together a small library of books and other materials about wooden boat construction and maintenance. As others here have implied, something with a glossary that will help you understand the boat-speak. Hood ends, right? What's the best book for someone with a boat of this size? Greg Rossel's book? Lady Ruth isn't exactly small, but the illustrations in that book are helpful. Chapelle's "Boatbuilding" is the classic reference, though maybe not where I'd start. Others will likely have better suggestions.

    You might also consider a subscription to the magazine published by our forum's host.
    https://www.woodenboat.com/

    Lots of information there, and the back issues are a rich resource. They can be useful in fitting out your head as well.

    Good luck!
    Jeff

  33. #33
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Classic Boat (UK) has more direct reference to your boat type and locale, but the more you know the better. I assume she is floating and not leaking too much, so I think you need to get to know your boat before doing too much. You do want to know her condition throughout and get a good understanding of what she needs and on what timetable (could be just paint and varnish type maintenance, or much more involved), but find out how much you really enjoy her, spend time aboard, then go from there with what you learn about LADY RUTH and yourselves. Mainly, have fun!

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Regarding liveaboard status, it is great you found a marina that is accommodating. Now, you need to keep it that way. Be a good neighbor. You won't always be able to have your boat looking like a gold-plater while she is being worked on, but you can do your best to keep it from looking like a derelict. Make sure your poop goes into the holding tank, and not into the surrounding water. Put away your tools, power cords, and miscellaneous boat parts when you are not using or working on them. Don't leave wood scraps lying around randomly on deck. No power tool usage or hammering away at 2:00 AM thus waking up your neighbors. That sort of behavior can make it bad for you, and for any future liveaboard wannabees. If you are a good marina neighbor, most of your marina mates and marina management will be happy you are there.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: The Lady Ruth, here goes nothing...!

    Yes Thad, there is a small amount of water in the Bilge, not a great deal though. After our first heated argument tonight, we have opted to have a shipwright deal with the Hull, of course with our help and input where possible. We feel that the cosmetics are manageable for us, juts not the safety aspect of the boat.

    So as it currently stands; GAS, ELECTRIC and FLOTATION will be the only things that we are not going to complete by ourselves, by this I mean the major jobs.

    As cstevens said yesterday, the electric is pivotal, to ensure no onboard fires and safety throughout. Gas is self explanatory, as is the safety of the Hull. We feel that the exterior is a job that we can complete, as is the deck and interior.

    ATB,

    Olly


    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Classic Boat (UK) has more direct reference to your boat type and locale, but the more you know the better. I assume she is floating and not leaking too much, so I think you need to get to know your boat before doing too much. You do want to know her condition throughout and get a good understanding of what she needs and on what timetable (could be just paint and varnish type maintenance, or much more involved), but find out how much you really enjoy her, spend time aboard, then go from there with what you learn about LADY RUTH and yourselves. Mainly, have fun!

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